Song of the Day #2,849: ‘Alexander Hamilton’ – Hamilton cast

hamiltonLast year, my niece succumbed to Hamilton fever, a debilitating infection that my family soon learned is highly contagious. Over the summer she played two of the early tracks for us and we were intrigued enough to immediately order the album on Amazon.

Flash forward six months, and in one of the few truly spontaneous actions of my life, we have spent a ridiculous amount of money to fly to New York for the weekend and watch the Broadway phenomenon (and recent Pulitzer prize winner) live. I can’t freaking wait.

But I have to wait, for two weeks, and so I will spend those two weeks featuring five songs apiece from the musical’s first and second acts.

Choosing which ten of the soundtrack’s 46 tracks to highlight was not an easy task. I’ve opted to give a sense of both the musical’s plot and its variety of musical styles, but also play some of my favorite songs.

I have to start at the beginning, so here’s ‘Alexander Hamilton,’ which writer/star Lin-Manuel Miranda memorably performed at a White House poetry jam in 2009. Then he holed up for several years and wrote the rest of this ingenious piece of work.

The world would never be the same.

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a
Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a
Forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence
Impoverished, in squalor
Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

The ten-dollar founding father without a father
Got a lot farther by working a lot harder
By being a lot smarter
By being a self-starter
By fourteen, they placed him in charge of a
Trading charter

And every day while slaves were being slaughtered and carted
Away across the waves, he struggled and kept his guard up
Inside, he was longing for something to be a part of
The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or barter

Then a hurricane came, and devastation reigned
Our man saw his future drip, dripping down the drain
Put a pencil to his temple, connected it to his brain
And he wrote his first refrain, a testament to his pain

Well, the word got around, they said, “This kid is insane, man”
Took up a collection just to send him to the mainland
“Get your education, don’t forget from whence you came, and
The world is gonna know your name. What’s your name, man?”

Alexander Hamilton
My name is Alexander Hamilton
And there’s a million things I haven’t done
But just you wait, just you wait…

When he was ten his father split, full of it, debt-ridden
Two years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden
Half-dead sittin’ in their own sick, the scent thick

And Alex got better but his mother went quick

Moved in with a cousin, the cousin committed suicide
Left him with nothin’ but ruined pride, something new inside
A voice saying

“You gotta fend for yourself.”

“Alex, you gotta fend for yourself.”

He started retreatin’ and readin’ every treatise on the shelf

There would have been nothin’ left to do
For someone less astute
He woulda been dead or destitute
Without a cent of restitution
Started workin’, clerkin’ for his late mother’s landlord
Tradin’ sugar cane and rum and all the things he can’t afford
Scammin’ for every book he can get his hands on
Plannin’ for the future see him now as he stands on
The bow of a ship headed for a new land
In New York you can be a new man

In New York you can
Be a new man—
In New York you can
Be a new man—

Just you wait!

Just you wait!

In New York you can be a new man—

In New York—

New York—

Just you wait!

Alexander Hamilton

We are waiting in the wings for you

You could never back down
You never learned to take your time!

Oh, Alexander Hamilton

When America sings for you
Will they know what you overcame?
Will they know you rewrote the game?
The world will never be the same, oh

The ship is in the harbor now
See if you can spot him

Another immigrant
Comin’ up from the bottom

His enemies destroyed his rep
America forgot him

We fought with him

Me? I died for him

Me? I trusted him

Me? I loved him

And me? I’m the damn fool that shot him

There’s a million things I haven’t done
But just you wait!

What’s your name, man?

Alexander Hamilton!

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,849: ‘Alexander Hamilton’ – Hamilton cast

  1. Dana says:

    Well, this will be a nice buildup to the big event! Given how high the bar of expectations has been set both internally within the family and externally from the cultural phenomenon of this show, I hope the experience will not be a letdown, but somehow I think it won’t be.

  2. Maddie says:

    I can’t wait to see it with all of you, and I’m so glad I was able to drag you all into this 😛 Looking forward to seeing your picks for the next two weeks.

  3. Amy says:

    Excited to enjoy the countdown this way, but the song was taken down! 😦

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